A look back at deserted towns and cities across the West Country on day one of the first lockdown
March 23 marks two years since Boris Johnson first introduced national lockdown restrictions as coronavirus surged through the UK.
On the first year anniversary, all four UK nations found themselves in another lockdown following a surge in cases in early 2021.
While cases continue to fluctuate, England has now dropped all of its restrictions.
Here, we take a look back at the day the first lockdown was imposed in the West Country - as workers were sent home, businesses closed and travel was banned.
23 March 2020 – First lockdown announced
The Prime Minister tells people they must stay at home, and should only leave for essential reasons such as buying food and exercising once per day.
He calls Covid-19 “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”.
10 May – Lockdown restrictions eased
The Prime Minister says people can now sunbathe in parks and exercise outdoors more than once per day, as the first restrictions are eased.
1 June – First pupils return to school
Pupils in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are allowed to return to the classroom for the first time in three months.
4 July – Pubs reopen as more restrictions eased
Lockdown restrictions are eased across England, and holidays are allowed to an initial list of 73 “travel corridor” countries.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers are allowed to reopen.
12 October – Regional tier system introduced
Liverpool City region is the only area placed in the top tier - tier three - with people banned from socialising indoors.
The Government hopes the tier system will mean the country can avoid a second national lockdown.
31 October – Second national lockdown announced
The Prime Minister announced a four-week national “circuit breaker” lockdown. Pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail are all forced to close again.
2 December – Lockdown ends and is replaced by strengthened tier system
The tier system returns, with more areas placed in tier three. A fourth tier is added later in the month, as a new variant of Covid-19 spreads rapidly in London and the South East.
19 December – PM cancels Christmas
With the new variant now running rampant in the South East, the Prime Minister cancels plans for Christmas bubbles for around 18 million people living in the South East.
Everyone else is told to spend just a day with family, rather than the initially proposed five.
30 December – Most of country moved to tier four
Almost 80 per cent of the population is now in tier four as the new variant spreads beyond the South East, meaning lockdown measures are essentially in place for the majority of England.
4 January 2021 – PM announces third national lockdown
Schools are forced to shut again, along with pubs, restaurants and non-essential retail, as people are once again ordered to stay at home.
15 February – Hotel quarantine introduced
Anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list is required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days.
8 March – Schools reopen in England
Under step one of the PM’s roadmap for leaving lockdown, children return to school. Boris Johnson says: “Classrooms are the best place for our young people to be”.
12 April – Non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopen
Under step two of the roadmap, non-essential retail businesses, including hairdressers and gyms, are allowed to reopen, alongside hospitality venues which offer outdoor service.
17 May – Outdoor limit increase to 30 and indoor Rule of Six returns
Pubs and restaurants reopen indoors and sports stadiums allowed 10,000 capacity.
International travel reopens under a traffic light system.
14 June – Lockdown easing in England delayed by four weeks
Step four of the roadmap, planned for 21 June, is delayed four weeks to allow more people to receive the vaccine - as the variant causes a new spike in cases and becomes the dominant strain.
19 July – Most remaining restrictions lifted
Nightclubs reopen, as cases decline to a relatively flat level with vaccines taking effect.
8 December – PM announces move to Plan B
Measures are announced as the Omicron variant begins to spread rapidly. Face masks to become compulsory in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality
15 December – Covid pass introduced in England
England follows Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by introducing the Covid pass, requiring adults to share vaccination or test results to enter venues.
18 January 2022 – Return to Plan A
PM announces England will return to Plan A with Omicron cases falling.
Plans are unveiled to remove self-isolation requirements by 24 March at the latest.
24 February – Covid rules scrapped in England
All Covid rules are scrapped in England by the end as part of the country’s plan to “live with the virus”.